There are two major types of warrant in Maryland, either of which may result in your arrest. There are arrest warrants, which are secret, and bench warrants, which are not. I have years of experience dealing with both types of warrant, and I can often get them withdrawn, so that you are never arrested at all. Even when the warrant cannot be recalled, I can help ensure that your arrest warrant does not become a lengthy jail sentence.
Many warrants can be handled without spending any time in jail. Do not turn yourself in without talking to a lawyer first.
In the event that you are arrested, or if the warrant cannot be recalled, I can convince judges and court commissioners that you should be released. I can also help you by carefully planning when, where, and how you are arrested. A well-chosen time and place of arrest can change the time spent in jail waiting for a judge or commissioner to become available from multiple days to only a few hours. Careful planning of an arrest can even make the difference between prompt release and a pretrial jail stay that could last for months.
If you are arrested out of state on a warrant from Maryland, you also may be held as a fugitive and have to go through the extradition process. The extradition process can easily result in weeks spent waiting in jail in the other state, even if a Maryland arrest would have resulted in your immediate release.
An arrest warrant is issued when you are charged with a crime. Arrest warrants, along with the charges that are the basis for the warrant, are kept secret until they are served. Thus, it is entirely possible that an arrest warrant has been issued even if you have no knowledge of any criminal charges against you. If you believe that you may be charged with a crime, but have not been issued a summons or citation, there may already be an outstanding warrant for your arrest.
While the public is not allowed to view arrest warrants in Maryland, I can go to the courthouse to check to see if you have an outstanding arrest warrant. I can also find out the reasons that the arrest warrant was issued. If you go to a courthouse on your own to check and find out that there is an outstanding arrest warrant, you can expect one of the many police officers present at the courthouse to arrest you immediately.
A bench warrant is issued when you miss a scheduled court appearance for an offense which is punishable by jail, and in a few other much more unusual cases. Bench warrants are not kept secret, but it is still possible that there is an outstanding bench warrant for your arrest of which you have no knowledge. One of the more common reasons that people fail to appear in court is that they did not receive the notice of their court date, or forget that they were issued a citation in the first place. If you fail to appear for a more minor violation, such as a payable traffic citation, the judge will suspend your license until you pay the fine rather than issuing a bench warrant for your arrest.
If we find out that a warrant of some sort has been issued for your arrest, I can ask the court to withdraw the warrant, sparing you the discomfort of an arrest and a possible overnight jail stay. Even if the warrant is not withdrawn, I can often limit the time you spend in jail after arrest to a few hours by carefully choosing the best time and place for you to surrender yourself to the authorities, and by convincing the commissioner that you are worthy of release.
If the warrant is for a very serious crime, it is more likely that an unaffordably high bond may be set by either the judge or the commissioner. It is important to have a lawyer present to effectively argue for the lowest possible bail amount. I can request a hearing and effectively argue that the judge should reduce the amount of bail required, or change the terms on which it must be paid to something you can manage.
If you think that there may be a warrant out for your arrest, take control of the situation before it takes control of you. Call me at (301) 556-8709 today so that we can get to work on your case.